Philip Gabbert has run Warp 9 Computers full time since 2002. His company sets up networks and computer systems, cleans up viruses and more.

He’s worked in computer security for nearly 20 years -- and has seen an increasing need for individuals and businesses to more proactively secure their identity.

“I try to stress to individuals and businesses that they need to know how identities can be stolen and what steps they can take to protect themselves and their customers,” Gabbert said.

Here are tips from Gabbert about protecting yourself from identity theft:

Monitor Your Money

Gabbert recommends actively monitoring the processing of credit cards, whether shopping online or in store. Make sure purchases add up and stay vigilant in keeping up with what you purchased.

Protect and Protect Some More

Do not use standard protection on your computer, especially if you shop online, check bank or credit card accounts, or share any other vital data. Install a two-way firewall to monitor and protect. Keep your protection up to date.

Check, Please

When paying with a credit card at a restaurant, ask the wait staff member if he or she is trained on how to handle credit card transactions. “If not, they do not know what they are doing,” Gabbert said.

Trust Issues

Just as you might not purchase a “Brolex” watch from a guy on the street or take a shortcut through a dark alley, use common sense in who and what you trust. Do not open emails from those you don’t know. Scan attachments from those you do. Always use trusted networks whether on your smartphone or laptop. Authenticate emails from sources like your bank, credit card company or office by making a call to a trusted source.

For more information about Warp 9 Computers, please click here.